Posts Tagged Orville Vogel

Norman Borlaug

In the last month the world lost the father of the green revolution Norman Borlaug.  He won the Noble Peace Prize for basically his breeding of semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.  (I might add that the original variety Borlaug used for his base breeding was developed and given to him by Orville A. Vogel the wheat breeder at WSU)

In a presentation to the American Society of Agronomy in 2007 (  Borlaug addressed the issue of world hunger and ability to use GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) to help the issue of world food security.  I understand the issues surrounding GMO’s I deal with the debate on a regular bases for classes, research and personal pondering however the question I pose is this:

This great era of political correctness, environmental awareness, the Omnivore’s Dilemma, world population nearing 7 Billion, and agriculture being told it must turn away from large scale commercial endeavors – WHO DIES FIRST and WHO GETS TO DECIDE?

Norman Borlaug was an advocate for the poor and hungry yet was dismissed at times for his support of GMO’s.   If we do not use every tool available in our tool box including: no til, precision agriculture, big farm, small farm, machines, hand tools, synthetic fertilizers, green manures, manures  and GMO’s there will most likely not be  enough global food production to sustain our population, people will die.

I think the legacy of Dr. Borlaug will not only be feeding millions of people but his keen awareness that hungry people should eat and we need all the tools available to accomplish this task.

Can you answer the question? Who dies first and who decides?

Is it government, Universities, ADM, the producers of Corn King, the farmers, Al Gore?  Who gets to limit the tools in the tool box – would we limit the tools our heart surgeon has available to him during open heart surgery?

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